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what's the next step?

6820 Views 34 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  E4mula
It seems like the style of traction motors available haven't changed much over the past 10 years. I can't imagine there's not a new design coming down the line. What is the next big change in design, anybody know? In my opinion the weight has to be the biggest hurdle to overcome. DC motors weigh too much in my mind. The question is can they be re-engineered with lighter components that maintain the same energy as the current components?
I see this same problem in current auto engines. The tech is there to produce lighter assemblies yet they haven't had a good enough reason to force their hand into using it yet. Oil is still too easy to get so the extra weight of the vehicle can be overcome by more power but at an expense of efficiency.

Does the traction motor industry need a large sum of money to get things started? Is there any pressure being put on them yet? Maybe there is a lot more going on than what we see from our view. Do you suppose the traction motor companies already have a good head start but their not showing their hand just yet? I've read on here about companies that have a product but they don't sell to individuals, which seems counter productive to me.
Anyway I'm just thinking through my fingers. It sure would be nice to know what's around the corner.
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It seems like the style of traction motors available haven't changed much over the past 10 years. I can't imagine there's not a new design coming down the line. What is the next big change in design, anybody know? In my opinion the weight has to be the biggest hurdle to overcome. DC motors weigh too much in my mind. The question is can they be re-engineered with lighter components that maintain the same energy as the current components?
I see this same problem in current auto engines. The tech is there to produce lighter assemblies yet they haven't had a good enough reason to force their hand into using it yet. Oil is still too easy to get so the extra weight of the vehicle can be overcome by more power but at an expense of efficiency.

Does the traction motor industry need a large sum of money to get things started? Is there any pressure being put on them yet? Maybe there is a lot more going on than what we see from our view. Do you suppose the traction motor companies already have a good head start but their not showing their hand just yet? I've read on here about companies that have a product but they don't sell to individuals, which seems counter productive to me.
Anyway I'm just thinking through my fingers. It sure would be nice to know what's around the corner.
Hi 2cyc,

Yeah, ya never know what's around the corner. But I doubt seriously it will be a better brushed DC motor. The basic design there is 100 years old. We have some better insulation and run them hotter for increased power density. Maybe some better alloy steel and process to make them a little more efficient and cost effective. But the copper, steel and carbon aren't that much different in all this time. You see these insane power figures because these guys overload the crap out of them. Amazes me that they live as long as they do, like what 10 to 15 seconds? Try sustaining that power level for a 10 lap race :rolleyes:

So where the EV motor is going is where it is in the EVs and HEVs being produced today. AC. Some ACIM and some PMSM. Active thermal management. Good efficiency. Reasonable power density. Cost effective. Able to be validated for automotive. What more could the consumer want? And you know what? They are not much different from the EV1 motor circa 1995 :)

You seem to think there is some sort of traction motor industry. Speaking about the EV car motors, I do not see a traction motor industry. Auto makers will likely make electric motors themselves, like they do engines, or have selected vendors do it, like Remy. And yes, these guys have R&D departments. And undoubtedly are busy working on better motors. But I don't see the "Lithium" motor around the corner. You have the switched reluctance motor. Only been around for 30 years. And that technology has seemed to merge with the PMSM to give a motor with magnet torque and reluctance torque, so to speak. A pure reluctance motor? Yeah, maybe, F1 KERS was using that I heard. Like 60 kW at 50,000 RPM in a soup can size package. Got gears for that? And you think you could find a place to buy one without an F1 budget :p

And then you have this whole thing about wheel motor. I suspect we'll continue to see wasted effort on this idea ;) Can't stop it.

A guy like you wants to get a high power dense motor to race with. You just need to get the best available from automotive and push the crap out of it. Or find some other source for a core and develop it. This takes a commitment of money which nobody is willing to make. They all want guaranteed success with payback next year. We need somebody who doesn't mind 10 or 20 failed attempts. And who could tolerate the prospect of never seeing a return on money spent. Somebody in it for the chase, not the pot of gold.

I know of a few who are engaged in trying some different things with motors. Axial air gap (pancake) designs. Ironless armatures. These are interesting. But nothing I haven't seen years ago. Maybe with better materials they can further push limits on speed and make some incremental gains. Kudos to these guys. Keep after it.

But for you, I don't see a better motor tomorrow. Like I said, get the best you can find and push like crazy. Break it and fix it better. Repeat. And again. That's the way your IC race engines got to where they are, isn't it? And along the way, you might invent the turbomagneticultraconducting gizmo :)

major
 

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what about these binary motors they are putting in toys these days, the mini helicopters and such, they have way more power than the motors I played with as a kid, (20 years ago). The motors I see in EV are the old tech. can these binary motors be scaled up?
Sorry, I don't play with little toys much anymore :) What is a binary motor?
 

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If you use this type motor @ 150kw, it will be approx. 40lbs. Add 75lbs for a pack similar to Killacycle, and another 40lbs for the controller, the whole propulsion system will be approx 160lbs for 200hp cont, 400hp peak.
Hi Dawid,

I'm not sure if you are serious here or not. First you jump to a conclusion about doubling stated power to get peak of 400hp. And do you really think the little motor can be scaled up by a factor of ten? I guess you could just use ten of the little guys. But how much of that 15 kW apiece will be required for cooling air over and thru the motor? Be interesting to try. They were about 1000 euros apiece. And then again for a controller. About ripe for a go kart, wouldn't you say?

I have to wonder a bit about these hobby/model motors and equipment. They have made great strides recently with the availability of LiPo batteries. But I just recieved a Tower Hobbies catalog today and was looking at ESCs (electronic speed controllers). They have a TL2522 listed at $149, 1.36 oz, 1620 amperes rated. For brushed motors.

Regards,

major
 
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